Victorian Era Fashions

Hat Fashions for October 1897

The hat was considered one of the most important items of a woman’s toilette. One twentieth century writer noted its importance stating: “When a clever woman chooses a hat, she is careful that the shadows it casts on her face are becoming to her. Every hat throws it own set of shadows, and I doubt…

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Men’s Shooting and Hunting Costumes 1866-1882

Shooting and hunting were popular pastimes for nineteenth century men, and these activities required not only “the kind or form of garments worn by gentlemen who go in search of pleasure to the stubble fields or moorlands [but outfits that were functional].”[1] In fact, the main rule when purchasing shooting or hunting wear was that…

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The Bicycle and Fashions for Fall 1898

Bicycling was a popular pastime in the late 1800s, so much so, it ushered in the “bicycle craze,” a craze that was in full swing in Europe and North America by the 1890s. The original bicycling problems that were related to the penny-farthing — comfort, safety, speed, and steering — were essentially resolved by the…

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Hat Fashions for September 1898

Fashionable hats for September 1898 were “variable and whimsical” They also included toques, carriage hats, and leghorns. One of the latest fashions for millinery in 1898 was the forward tilting hat with a drooped effect over the eyes. Trimmings at this time were often “elaborate, and the long spangled quill and spangled wing [vied] ……

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Women’s Dress Fashions for September 1898

There were numerous toilette styles that were popular in September 1898. One popular toilette was the carriage toilette, which was similar to the traveling toilette. The carriage toilette was typically worn when traveling in a carriage, coach, or on a train. It was practical, hid any accumulated dirt, and allowed ease of movement so as…

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A History of Jet (Lignite)

Jet was known to ancient people and to the Romans. One Portuguese visitor to Yorkshire in 1730 noted that “jet, geat, or black amber,”[1] as he called it, could be found “in the chinks and clefts of the rocks.”[2] It was, he added, “naturally of a reddish or rusty colour, but when polished, it is…

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Lingerie for Summer 1898

“Love of dainty underwear is innate in womankind,” was the opinion of one nineteenth century fashion magazine known as The Delineator. Yet, the concept that lingerie and undergarments were visually appealing, did not become a thought until the late nineteenth century. At that time, some of the best lingerie came from France, but nineteen century…

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Hat Fashions for August 1898

Victorian women wore hats year round and summer hats of 1898 were “well-dressed in a wealth of blooms that, if reproduced by the florist, would ensure his fortune.” Roses, violets, poppies, and other brilliant colored flowers were popular for the season and often placed high in the back, graduating to nothing in the front. Transparent…

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Fire, Hoarding, and Two Sisters in the Victorian Era

Fires were always a danger in the Victorian Era, but one fatal fire in Gosport was worsened by the hoarding of two sisters. The event began in High Street in Darby Court on Tuesday, 10 December 1867 at about two o’clock in the afternoon. A widowed neighbor named Elizabeth Russell noticed smoke rising from the…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for December 1896

The year 1896 was the year the British redcoats entered the Ashanti capital and deposed Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I. It was also the first time a speeder was fined in England—Walter Arnold, of East Pechkahm, Kent, England, exceeded the speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h) by cruising along at 8 mph (13 km/h)—and, it…

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